One of the quickest and cheapest ways to obtain sunburn relief is to immerse a T-shirt or towel in cool water, wring it out and place it on the affected area. Then sit or lie in front of a fan or air conditioner.
Cool water not only feels great on sunburned skin but is also important for hydration. Sunburned skin is inflamed and hot. Your body loses fluid through your skin because of your sunburn. Drinking lots of water is another good idea, as it will prevent dehydration.
Don't let your guard down after you've taken your pain relievers, bathed in an oatmeal or vinegar bath, and finally gotten past the worst of the discomfort. It is possible to get a burn on top of a burn. Until your sunburn is completely healed, cover it and stay out of the sun. Follow these basic rules to protect yourself from sunburn:
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and tightly woven, yet loose-fitting, clothing.
- Use sunscreen early (15-30 minutes before sun exposure), often and liberally.
- Wear sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV rays.
To learn more about how to prevent and treat sunburn, look over the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Facts About Sunscreens." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm
- Better Health Channel. "Sunburn." December 2008. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sunburn_explained
- Gibson, Lawrence E., M.D. "Sunburn Treatment: What Works?" Mayo Clinic. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn-treatment/AN01423
- Life & Style Section, The State. "How to Treat a Sunburn." July 21, 2009. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.thestate.com/living/story/870795.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Sunburn." May 19, 2009. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn/DS00964
- Mother Nature. "Sunburn." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/124.cfm
- Nissl, Jan. WebMD. "Sunburn -- Home Treatment." Dec. 28, 2007. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/sunburn-home-treatment
- Nissl, Jan. WebMD. "Sunburn -- Topic Overview." Dec. 28, 2007. (Accessed 7/28/2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/sunburn-topic-overview
- Noel, Sara. "Homespun Ways to Treat Sunburn." Frugal Village. July 10, 2009. (Accessed 7/28/09)http://www.frugalvillage.com/2009/07/10/homespun-ways-to-treat-sunburn/
- Prevention Magazine. "Sunburn Home Remedies: Be Careful With Blisters." (Accessed 7/28/09) http://homeremedies.prevention.com/sunburn-remedies/be-careful-blisters
- Schar, Douglas. "Sunburn First-Aid Kit." Prevention. Nov. 11, 2004. (Accessed 7/28/09) http://www.prevention.com/cda/article/sunburn-first-aid kit/97aa88dc78803110VgnVCM10000013281eac____/lifelong.beauty/anti.aging.arsenal/sun.care